At least that’s what my husband calls me, but I prefer the term, savvy shopper.
My shopping skills were honed early on in the malls of suburbia, where my mother (a hard working farmer’s hard working wife) faced with having to get her 5 daughters ready for “back to school” would hand us 3 older kids $100 apiece (worth much more in 1981 dollars!) and tell us to get ourselves some back-to-school outfits. Flush with cash and the heady responsibility of choosing our own outfits for the status-setting super important first day of school, my sisters and I would comb the mall for hours, scouring all the stores for the must-have trends and the best bargains. Each sale and promotion was scrutinized and once our research was complete, we would conduct our analysis over Orange Julius drinks in the food fair, carefully considering the versatility of each item before one dollar could be wrested from our sweaty and excited hands. My sisters and I were the original Shopping Bags, debating the pros (status, sex appeal) and cons (cost) of French Jeans vs. Rainbow Jeans, Ralph Lauren Polo shirts vs. Daniel Hechter.
It was around then when I had my first sale-induced hot flash – you know the feeling, stumbling upon a deeply discounted item in your size and favourite color, in perfect condition, marked ridiculously low because it was the very last one in stock. Never mind the fact that is was a halter top and it was the beginning of September, you just can’t ignore good karma like that! One year, my sister discovered white leather Stan Smiths on sale for the ridiculously low price of $19.99 in our size! “Just imagine the possibilities,” I screamed, but she hesitated, unbelieving this incredible deal. So then I threw down the gauntlet saying, “If you don’t buy them, I will.” She quickly bought the shoes. Back at home, while she was lacing up her prized sneakers, we discovered that the left shoe had 6 sets of holes for the laces and the right shoe had 7! We briefly considered taking the shoes back, but 1) after the day shopping with her 5 daughters, our mother didn’t want to step foot in the mall again until 1984, and 2) we figured that if it took us that long to discover the mismatch, no one else would either.
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Now that I’m a bit more flush with cash (thank you Poker tournament!) I have been hunting for a pair of the famed red-soled Christian Louboutins. These shoes cost $595US and hurt like a bitch, but I don’t care, I want them anyways! PLUS as my feet have stopped growing, I was pretty sure I could get the cost per wear down to something more reasonable over the rest of my lifetime. But I’ve been wrestling with my desire, as I still hate paying full retail and they simply do not go on sale. One sunny day, I tucked my savvy shopper tail between my legs and headed for Holt Renfrew’ shoe department. Unfortunately for me, the sales person either didn’t like me or didn’t believe I was the type to part with that much money for a pair of shoes (in her defense, she would have been right on a normal day) and gave me such lazy service that I decided to walk away from the shoes, validating her point, but saving my savvy shopper ego.
That was about a month ago. Since then, I’ve been spending my poker winnings in dribs and drabs – $200 on sweaters at Club Monaco (I know, I know Spring is around the corner, but they were on sale and I’m cold NOW!), $250 on a neon-yellow puffy ski jacket (ditto), $99 on a pair of cool cargo ski pants (really cheap) and assorted other things, leaving me with just enough poker money STILL to buy the Louboutins.
That was before I went shopping along Vancouver’s famed South Granville area. Well actually, I was returning some bathmats to Restoration Hardware, but I digress. I popped into Ashia Mode since I had a few minutes left on my meter. Ashia Mode is a super swish ladies store where I once bought a Lida Baday ball gown for 50% off! I’ve only worn it once and now hemlines have changed, so this was not one of my more stellar purchases, but I thought their winter sale deserved a quick peruse.
Moschino Cheap and Chic for 90% off!! Yes, I am a savvy shopper! And Mr. Louboutin, I’m still searching for you!